Fuel Mileage Friendly Vehicles Inspiring New Electric Charging Stations

October 20th, 2011
Fuel mileage seekers will appreciate this updated information about how retailers are working to bring customers more charging stations to make driving an all-electric vehicle more convenient.

Fuel mileage needs inspires new technology as EVs grow in number and so do their charging stations. Photo by Fast Company.

DETROIT, M.I. – Fuel mileage has increased substantially as new technologies have been developed for consumers. From hybrids to electric vehicles (EV), shoppers are beginning to have a much larger range of options to choose from. Some may think the newest trend is the purchase of EVs as new models are coming to the market.

The truth is, the charging stations for the EVs are increasing faster than the purchase of the EVs.

Many companies are expecting the demand for charging stations to increase very quickly as the EV market expands into more areas with more demand for higher fuel mileage. The two EVs on the minds of most include the Chevrolet Volt and the Nissan Leaf. Both were originally only available in some markets, some states, but now have been spread to more corners of the U.S.

With this expansion, company owners such as Tom Wolf, owner of a McDonald’s franchisee, added two chargers for all-electric vehicles to his newest store in Huntington, W. Va., There are no owners, according to Wolf, in that area that own EVs, but he says that he has added the stations “for the future.” Wolf spent $6,385 on the two charging stations that are about the size and shape of parking meters as he is hoping to see an increase in more EVs.

Top U.S. Bottom Michigan. The current charging stations are in green while upcoming stations are in red. Information by WSJ.

Top U.S. Bottom Michigan. The current charging stations are in green while upcoming stations are in red. Information by WSJ.

The numbers show there are less than 15,000 EVs on the U.S. roads, although the government is hoping that number will reach one million around 2015. Currently, there are about 1,400 public charging stations available across the U.S. and that amount is increasing. Goals project there will be up to 13,000 stations by the end of 2012.

Most of the costs surrounding the installation of the equipment include the use of subsidies as the federal government is pushing for this technology. Once the subsidies are gone prices will increase for companies. For example:

  • 480-volt, 30-minute or less charger: $40,000, plus installation
  • 240-volt, about 8-hour charger: $2,000-3,000
  • home charger: $700-1,000, plus the same for installation

Fuel mileage friendly vehicles may have extra added expenses, but it is hoped that once the technology is more widely used the cost will decrease to make the EVs and other options more attainable for more consumers.

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[Source(s): Wall Street Journal]

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